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Denmark passes ban on mink farming through December 2021

Denmark’s parliament passes a law banning the keeping of minks for a year, following the country’s controversial cull of all minks over a mutated strain of the novel coronavirus.

The law, which bans mink husbandry until December 31, 2021, also contains a provision that dictates that in case the ban is not respected, the minks will be euthanized, effectively removing a legal challenge that has shaken the government after it in early November ordered all minks in country culled.

“The Danish mink breeders have sacrificed their life’s work for the common good. We owe them a big thank you,” agriculture minister Rasmus Prehn says in a post to Twitter, adding that there was now a compensation scheme for breeders.

In early November, Denmark — which is the world’s largest exporter of mink fur — announced it would cull all of the country’s more than 15 million minks after a mutated version of the novel coronavirus was discovered and believed to jeopardize the effectiveness of future vaccines.

Minks look out from their cage at the farm of Henrik Nordgaard Hansen and Ann-Mona Kulsoe Larsen as they have to kill off their herd, which consists of 3,000 mother mink and their cubs on their farm near Naestved, Denmark, on November 6, 2020. (Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP)

Once a mass gassing program had already begun, a court challenge to the order found that the executive’s decision had no legal basis, leading to the resignation of the previous agriculture minister.

Adding to the scandal, it was later revealed that the disposal of the dead animals posed an environmental threat amid fears that phosphorus and nitrogen could be released in large quantities into the soil surrounding mass graves due to the decomposition process.

In one grisly turn of the story, one mass grave saw dead minks, that had been buried too shallow, rising out of the ground.

AFP

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